SBJ/April 2 - 8, 2007/Coast To Coast

Coast to Coast

LeBron James led NBA friends and
Akron youths on the 2005 bike-a-thon.
James acquires stake in Cannondale
LeBron James and King James Inc. acquired an undisclosed ownership stake in Cannondale Bicycle Corp. Cannondale has teamed with the Cleveland Cavaliers star to provide bicycles for the James Family Foundation’s annual King for Kids Bike-a-thon. The June 30 charity bike ride event in Akron, James’ hometown, benefits children and single mothers.

IronPigs hit retail with logo unveiling
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs unveiled their official club logo last week. Within 30 minutes of the unveiling, the team sold more than $2,000 worth of merchandise despite having a year left until Opening Day. The IronPigs’ mark is the work of San Diego-based Plan B Branding. The team will be the Class AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies and is scheduled to begin play in 2008.

Giant scoreboard upgrade planned
Auburn University will install the first true high-definition video display in the Southeastern Conference inside Jordan-Hare Stadium before the start of the 2007 football season. The $2.9 million upgrade includes a Daktronics display measuring approximately 30 feet high by 74 feet wide.

AT&T puts Masters on all screens
AT&T is launching a major content initiative that will provide golf fans with access to Masters previews and daily highlights, live tournament and practice range coverage, player interviews, live updates, and links to real-time scoreboards. Masters coverage will be available through AT&T’s blue room, U-verse TV, Homezone service, U-verse OnTheGo, Broadband TV and wireless service.

Have a screen? You have Masters access.

Lobos land Learfield for marketing
The University of New Mexico selected Learfield Sports as its exclusive athletics marketing partner through 2015. The eight-year agreement calls for Dallas-based Learfield to administer the multimedia rights of UNM athletics beginning with the 2007-08 academic year and to operate under the name Lobo Sports Properties.

Stremicks to provide frozen novelties
The Honda Center and Stremicks Heritage Foods have entered into a partnership making the company the exclusive provider of frozen novelties for the arena and the Anaheim Ducks. All milk products in the arena will be made using Stremicks products. In-arena signage with the Stremicks logo will be displayed on all menu boards that sell Stremicks products.

M&T wants branch at stadium
M&T Bank Corp. has applied to regulators to open a temporary branch at M&T Bank Stadium so it can sign up attendees at this month’s Spring Football Festival for new checking accounts. Enticements will include Baltimore Ravens checks, Ravens check cards and a free Grill & Go, a portable grill with an insulated carrying bag. M&T pays $5 million a year to put its name on the Ravens’ stadium.

Sabres add ‘scary good’ retail
The Buffalo Sabres are adding to their playoff merchandise inventory with a line of hats and T-shirts that draws its name from popular team broadcaster Rick Jeanneret. Products in RJ Collectibles line features such sayings as “Now Do You Believe” and “These Guys are Scary Good.” The new products will be sold only at the Sabres Store inside HSBC Arena.

Dr. Carlos Hamilton congratulated
Morrison at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.
Morrison gets endocrinology award
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists awarded Charlotte Bobcats rookie Adam Morrison, who has type 1 diabetes, the Eugene T. Davidson, MD, Award for Public Service prior to a Bobcats game late last month. The award is presented annually to a nonphysician for outstanding contributions to advancing the mission of AACE in providing quality health care for patients with endocrine disease.

Cavs, newspaper promote medallions
The Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Cleveland Cavaliers are promoting a marketwide program that offers fans the opportunity to collect a series of 18 silver medallions featuring the images of current players, coach Mike Brown, team mascot Moondog and a special Cavs 1986-87 commemorative medallion. Beginning this week and running through April 22, the newspaper will run a coupon each day for a specific medallion that can be obtained with the coupon at select local retailers.

City looking ahead to 2011 bid
As part of the city’s bid for the 2011 Super Bowl, the Indianapolis City-County Council voted to make ticket scalping for the game illegal and to provide security for the game at no charge to the NFL, according to a report in The Indianapolis Star. The scalping measure, which passed 24-3, would add the Super Bowl to a special law that bans scalping at the NCAA Final Four, according to the report.

Insurer sponsoring JackHammers
American Family Insurance will be the Joliet JackHammers’ official multicultural partner in addition to sponsoring a seasonlong “Red Hat” promotion at Silver Cross Field. A donation of $5 from every hat sale will go directly to the American Heart Association. AFI also will partner with the independent Northern League team to directly market and sponsor the Women in Business (June 13), African-American (July 5) and Hispanic Heritage (Aug. 9) celebrations at the ballpark.

Mayor finalizing NBA proposal
The NBA extended last week’s deadline for Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman to present a proposal addressing league concerns about local sports books accepting wagers on its games, according to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Goodman, who is seeking a franchise for the city, said he will get the proposal to the NBA this week, ahead of the league’s owners meeting later this month, according to the report.

Dodgers embark on Team Think Blue
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Dodgers Dream Foundation, Blue Cross of California Foundation and Los Angeles Times in Education have joined forces for the annual Team Think Blue Program. Team Think Blue helps students in the Los Angeles area improve their literacy and language arts skills while encouraging the development of a healthy and active lifestyle.

Speedway welcomes Toyota
Toyota will serve as the official vehicle of Irwindale Speedway as part of an exclusive sponsorship program. The Toyota Tundra will be showcased at the speedway with specially equipped pickup trucks serving as the pace, fire/safety and support vehicles for all motor racing events taking place at the track.

Redbirds partner with Harrah’s
The St. Louis Cardinals’ Class AAA affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds, will have a new partner going into the 2007 season. Harrah’s Entertainment, which owns the Grand, Horseshoe and Sheraton casinos in Tunica, Miss., has become a Redbirds corporate partner for this season. The one-year deal is worth an estimated $100,000 in cash and trade.

No price hike for Grizzlies faithful
The Memphis Grizzlies will not increase ticket prices for renewing season-ticket holders, according to a report in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Returnees will also be eligible to win team prizes and experiences, including a trip for two to Spain in October to watch the team’s preseason games there, according to the report.

County bricks resurrected
The Milwaukee Brewers have added a little bit of County Stadium to Miller Park. The team recently completed installation of 6,500 bricks that were saved during the demolition of County Stadium as a new wall in the ballpark’s picnic area along the right-field line.

Brewers finish new club seats
The Brewers have completed construction of the team’s newest attraction at Miller Park: the Club on the Club. The club-level seating area was developed through the conversion of several unused suites along left field. The area will be similar to Club Cambria at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center, with a ticket providing for a seat, food and beverage.

Red Bulls academy wears Adidas
Adidas was named the official apparel supplier to the New York Red Bulls Academy Teams as well as the official apparel supplier to the Red Bulls Freestyle Street Team. Adidas will outfit all coaches and players of the teams and supply the soccer balls for all games, clinics and camps in which the academy teams participate.

Red Bulls align with hospital
The Hospital for Special Surgery will serve as the MLS Red Bulls’ official hospital through a recently reached agreement. The new partnership provides the Red Bulls with access to one of the world’s leading centers for orthopedics and sports medicine. The team also named HSS physician Riley J. Williams III as its team physician and medical director.

The Cooperstown Collection has some new (old) stripes.
MLB throwback line expanded
Philadelphia sports apparel company Mitchell & Ness expanded its line of Major League Baseball throwback jerseys with several additions to its officially licensed Cooperstown Collection. The new jerseys include a 1951 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Golden Anniversary throwback, a 1968 Chicago Cubs Sesquicentennial of Illinois throwback, a 1929 Cleveland Indians throwback and a 1950 Richie Ashburn Philadelphia Phillies throwback.

Suns offer collectible pins
The Phoenix Suns have rolled out a team pin collection offer. The Phoenix Suns 2007 Pin Collection consists of 20 pins: nine player pins, nine corresponding jersey pins, a pin for the team’s Gorilla mascot and a special Suns commemorative pin. The Suns gave the first 10,000 fans in attendance at the team’s March 22 game a free custom-designed collector’s album to kick off the promotion. The Arizona Republic will publish a pin coupon each day through mid-April that can be used at local retailers to obtain a corresponding pin.

PGE Park upgrades video display
The Portland Beavers and Portland Timbers have begun installation of a Daktronics video display at PGE Park. The ProStar display, which replaces the existing matrix board at the south end of PGE Park, will measure approximately 13 feet high by 26 feet wide. PGE Park hosts the Class AAA Beavers, USL Timbers and Portland State University football.

New plan would keep 49ers in town
The city of San Francisco last week unveiled a proposal for a new stadium that would keep the San Francisco 49ers in town. The city’s southeast shore would be remade into a destination spot with the stadium, hundreds of acres of open space and thousands of new homes, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle. Mayor Gavin Newsom said the plan would not require public funding, according to the report.

New local sports magazine to launch
Two former ESPN Radio employees are launching St. Louis Sports Magazine this month. Dave Greene, the former general manager of ESPN Radio in St. Louis, said the magazine will be written for the casual sports fan with a St. Louis focus. Greene and James Oelklaus, former general sales manager at the station, formed Innovative Marketing Group Inc. to publish the magazine.

Stadium adds retail options
Tampa Bay Devil Rays fans will get more concession choices at Tropicana Field this season. Centerplate is opening three merchandise stores inside the stadium and also, in conjunction with the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Convention and Visitors Bureau, is redesigning the party area behind the left-field bullpen to give it a beach theme.

Tom Anselmi of MLSE (left) and BMO Financial
Group President Frank Techar joined player Edu
in the jersey debut.

Rays get naming deal for club area
The upscale stadium dining club located in the right-field mezzanine level at Tropicana Field will be named the Whitney Bank Club as part of a naming-rights agreement between the Devil Rays and Whitney Holding Corp. The club opened last season and features an exclusive seating area and all-inclusive buffet.

Expansion MLS team shows colors
Toronto FC unveiled their new jerseys at a media event held at sponsor BMO Bank of Montreal’s First Canadian Place branch in downtown Toronto. Maurice Edu, the first pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft and Toronto FC’s first pick in team history, wore the new jersey for photographers, reporters and guests. BMO is also a partnering sponsor of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors.

Jays, networks extend TV deal
The Toronto Blue Jays signed a four-year contract extension with The Sports Network and Rogers Sportsnet that will provide cable coverage of the team through the 2010 season. Sportsnet will air 116 of the club’s 162 games this season and could see that increase to 125 games in future seasons.

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